WESTPORT — Superintendent Gary Reese is pleased to share that the Westport Community Schools are staying closely connected to students and their families during the ongoing school closure with a series of inspirational and encouraging video messages.
“Teachers and staff have been separated from students due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we still want to keep those close connections in place by staying in contact any way we can,” Superintendent Reese said. “That face-to-face experience is very important for everyone during this time.”
A recent example of this is a video made by Alice A. Macomber Primary School Principal Dr. Cheryl Greeson, who asked parents to send her video clips or still photos featuring students saying how much they miss school and their teachers. Once she received the submissions she worked on creating a collage video presentation, set to “Don’t Give Up On Me” by singer Andy Grammer.
The lyrics to the song had special meaning, as they were part of a Social-Emotional Learning project in the district prior to the closure.
“The video was a total surprise for the teachers,” Principal Greeson said. “It meant a lot to be able to thank the staff as a whole for the work they’ve been doing since we went to remote learning, and I know the students really wanted to take part because of how much they miss being in school.”
More Ways to Stay Connected
In addition to the Macomber School video, Superintendent Reese has been recording weekly State of the Schools video addresses, in which he shares important district-wide information for parents. He ends the addresses by providing educational lessons for students. In the video posted Thursday, April 16, Superintendent Reese donned a white lab coat and taught students about the process of purifying water, as well as other math and English lessons.
On Tuesday, March 24, more than 100 cars filled with Westport Community Schools teachers, counselors and staff drove through town for a thank-you parade for students and their families. The cars began at the Macomber School and drove around town for nearly three hours, waving at students and families from safe distances.
“Teachers showed up in great numbers for the parade, and the students and their families had a great time seeing so many familiar faces and waving back to the cars,” Superintendent Reese said.
Even the Westport Fire Department took part, with a WFD truck joining the parade route with the district’s Wildcat mascot riding along.
On Thursday, March 26, Principal Greeson recorded a virtual storytime, where she read a book in the Skippyjon Jones series by author Judith Byron Schachner.
On Thursday, April 16, a video slideshow was posted from the Westport Food Services staff encouraging students to eat healthy, get plenty of exercise and stay positive during the closure.
Jennifer Chaves, Director of the Westport Extended Day program, has posted multiple videos sending virtual hugs to the children and parents in the program, thanking them for staying connected during the closure and wishing them well.
Additional videos have been posted by Westport Elementary School, Westport Jr./Sr. High School, the district’s nursing staff, and more.
To see more videos from the Westport Community Schools, follow them on Facebook.